This chutney is such a beautiful balance of flavors. And like all of my recipes, I let the flavors shine, not mask them with tons of spices and add ins. This recipe is basic, classic, and just the thing you need to keep those family traditions alive. I use imlee ki chutney all year round, but there’s something about the time of year when Ramadan is coming closer, and you just want those classic comfort foods to surround you as you fast the month away. Food has memories attached to them, which is why we make certain foods for certain holidays, and a good old imlee ki chutney is just what you need this Ramadan. This recipe is great stored in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 3 weeks with no problem at all. I’ve noticed it never lasts longer than that in my household. I have never frozen this chutney either, so I can’t help with tips about that, but who wants to freeze imlee? you just wanna drown your samosas and chaats in it, right?
Here’s what you’ll need for a medium batch
200 g seedless tamarind paste
4 cups water
1/2-3/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp kashmiri laal mirch
1/2 tsp coarsely ground cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of black salt (kala namak)
Start off by adding your tamarind paste and water to a sauce pan and bringing it to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, lower the flame and let it simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then let it cool down a bit. Fish out any seeds it may have, those packets always lie, the paste is never 100% seedless!
Then as carefully as you can, use an emersion blender to blend the tamarind int a smooth consistency. If you don’t have an immersion blender You can use a blender, but I highly recommend getting one, they work wonders. Once the paste has been blended smooth, take on the annoying task of straining it. Don’t use a super fine mesh strainer, it’ll drive you mad. I used a metal strainer with slightly larger holes. The idea is to get any chunks or unwanted hidden seeds out. Then put back in the sauce pan, add the sugar and seasoning and simmer for about 10 minutes, just until the chutney thickens a bit. Check for seasoning and sugar, then cool completely before transferring to jars or any airtight container. Refrigerate and use as needed.